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Life360 Family Tracking App Is Selling Its Customers’ Precise Location Data

Life360 is a popular alternative to Apple’s Find My, letting subscribers keep tabs on family members, but The Markup reports that Life360 is a major source of data for the multibillion-dollar location-tracking industry. Several former employees told The Markup that Life360 sells precise location data for its 33 million customers to roughly a dozen data brokers and is one of the chief providers of such data to the industry. Life360 recently purchased tracking device company Tile, and despite the company’s denials, it’s hard to imagine that it won’t eventually sell data from Tile trackers. This is yet another reminder to be careful with which apps you grant location-access permission. You can check which apps can access your location data in Settings > Privacy > Location Services.

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Comments About Life360 Family Tracking App Is Selling Its Customers’ Precise Location Data

Notable Replies

  1. That explains why the app is so adamant about setting Location preferences to Always. It won’t install without and then if you try and downgrade it to something more sane like “when the app is open” then it bugs you to change every time you access the app!

  2. I’m not defending them, as the is is a huge privacy loss. But in fairness to any tracking app - not allowing background location services makes the app useless for tracking.

  3. Agreed, background tracking is necessary, but selling that data is the issue here, isn’t it? If my location is being sold to a third party, I’ll be looking for alternatives to this app, which I use every day. Any suggestions for a replacement app for Life360?

  4. I would just use Find My if your family is all Apple.

  5. Indeed! Alas, such is not the case here.

  6. Well then you must realize that Apple Tags are being used by car thieves to flag vehicles they wish to steal at a later time. Hope those car owners have iPhones and have them up-to-date so they will be notified about a rogue Apple Tag that’s been following them. If they notice the alert, they can make the rogue Apple Tag play a tone and then they can locate it and remove it from their vehicle. Several Dodge Chargers have been tracked thusly as thieves will wait for a better location and time to snatch the vehicle.

    Besides vehicles a thief could drop one of these tags in a wealthy looking persons coat pocket or purse and track them home to plan a robbery / home invasion.

    Apple Tags will work better than Tiles because Apple Tags rely upon the vast number of iPhones in circulation. The only way you can track an Apple Tag is if there are a lot of Apple devices within range. All modern Apple devices will report back to iCloud the location of Apple Tags wether or not it is your personally owned Apple Tag. They have been successfully tracked on cargo planes, etc. There may be times when the Tags precise location is unknown but then it can popup in a new location when an Apple device comes within range of the Apple Tag.

    As great as the technology sounds, it’s rather creepy. Thankfully, Apple alerts you when it detects an Apple Tag you don’t know that is nearby following you around.

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